Monday 9 October 2023

Narrow escape

The notorious Lesser Black-Backed Gull was stalking the Feral Pigeons at the Lido restaurant.

He made a grab at one and nearly got it, but the pigeon managed to break free.

A white pigeon on a branch above gazed down at the scene, doing its best to look like a dove of peace.

But we know what pigeons are like really. They just can't stop squabbling.

A Wood Pigeon had a wash in the Serpentine. It's a young one still without a white collar, and its eyes haven't yet got the white irises of an adult.

The dead hawthorn by the Rose Garden had a Coal Tit in it, looking for insects in the lichen that encrusts it.

The Robin at the east end of the Flower Walk was waiting in the corkscrew hazel. It will take food thrown on the ground but hadn't yet dared to come to my hand, unlike the Robin at the other hand which stands there and takes as many pine nuts as it can carry.

The female Little Owl at the Round Pond was in her current favourite place in the horse chestnut.

Magpies are constantly on the fallen trunk below picking insects out of the rotten wood.

A Grey Heron sunbathed on the raft on the Long Water, watched by a Cormorant.

A Cormorant perched on the edge of a pool in the Italian Garden.

The Black-Headed Gull who owns the landing stage at the Diana fountain doesn't like Canada Geese messing up his platform, but he couldn't shift this one.

The Great Crested Grebe teenagers' first attempts at fishing aren't too successful yet. This one at the Lido just came up with a beakful of weed. Luckily they are still being fed by their parents, but that won't last much longer.

The single, much younger chick at the east end of the island is still wholly dependent, but has started diving alongside its parents, the first stage in learning.

The stream in the Dell, which had got very foul as a result of the pump for the waterfall breaking down, is now reasonably clean and the resident Moorhens have gone back to their usual rock.

The number of bees is going down noticeably, but the oxeye daisies in the Rose Garden are still attracting Honeybees. This one is sharing her flower with a small white grub.


  1. I do like the look of a White Dove. They come across so friendly and charming like.
    Sean 😃

  2. Look at it looking all so innocent and snow-white. Not falling for it!
    Well done on the escaping pigeon though. Their ability to maneuver in close quarters is amazing. Given that pigeons can foil half the attempts of Peregrines though, it has to be said too that Pigeon Eater must be a superb flying machine.

  3. Yes, pigeons have a splendid fast takeoff, and also a high top speed that can beat a gull. I once saw Pigeon Eater chasing a pigeon in the air. I think he must have descended from a height to gain speed. He managed to snap at its retreating tail but still didn't get it.

    This is why he hunts on the ground, waiting for a pigeon to lose concentration and shut an eye or look away. Then he runs at them. He doesn't take off till he's got his victim in a firm grip.